Macbeth Theme Of Ambition

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A desire for power and advancement is typically seen among many longing to rule. Shakespeare’s Macbeth incorporates the theme of ambition and how it controls the main characters to pursue it. After attaining knowledge of the witches’ prophecies that say Macbeth will become king of Scotland, Lady Macbeth sees the predominant obstacle being King Duncan and feels as though Macbeth does not have the aggressiveness to take action and thus ensure the fulfillment of the prophecies. Using her sly words, she readily manipulates Macbeth to kill Duncan, which in turn provokes Macbeth to continue performing atrocious misdeeds, mainly out of fear for himself and his power. Although not naturally inclined to do evil deeds, the ambition of his manipulative wife as well as his own desires drive Macbeth to abandon self-restraint.
After learning the witches’ prophecies, Lady Macbeth urges her husband with great determination to be rid of his hesitation and unwillingness to murder Duncan in order to begin his reign of tyranny. While serving king Duncan at their castle, Macbeth finds himself alone and deliberately starts reassuring himself, saying “He’s here in double trust: First, as I am his kinsman…strong both against the deed then, as his host, who should against his murderer shut the door, not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan Hath borne his faculties so meek…” (1.7. 12-17). In his soliloquy, Macbeth, emotionally unstable, talks himself into keeping in mind that he is just the king’s subject who should always try protecting the king, as opposed to bearing the knife as his murderer. Lady Macbeth however, wrongly attributes her husband’s disinclination and uneasiness to murder Duncan as righteousness and kindheartedness, which spurs he...

... middle of paper ... belonging to himself, Macbeth made a point to murder Macduff’s whole family as a warning not only to Macduff but all the people of Scotland, showing what would happen if they were to go against him. Thus, Macbeth’s drive for ambition ruled over his moralistic values to savagely murder harmless people in order to achieve his own desires.
The consequences of murder and power are continuously shown as the tragedy proceeds. With a longing for power, his wife’s manipulative and convincing words help Macbeth endure assurance in his rule yet weaken any rational thoughts he had held prior to his crowning. His own desire for control soon ruled him out as a tyrant. Macbeth’s ambition, however, shows that although one attempts to rid those in their way of prosperity, there will always be potential threats to the throne; in this case, leading to the downfall of Macbeth.
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